It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

P-175 Polecat Crash!!

page: 1
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 03:42 PM
link   
Just found this on the Aviaition Week website.

Supposedly the Polecat crashed this Decemeber!

Link: Link




Lockheed Martin is back at square one with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight-testing after the December crash of its P-175 Polecat demonstrator, which is only now being disclosed.

The aircraft went down on Dec. 18, 2006 at the Nevada Test and Training Range, according to U.S. Air Force officials who run the range. An ýýýirreversible unintentional failure in the flight termination ground equipment, which caused the aircraftýýýs automatic fail-safe flight termination mode to activateýýý is cited by Lockheed Martin as the cause of the crash.




[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]

Mod Edit: BB Code.

[edit on 17/3/2007 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 05:25 PM
link   
Well... Not sure what to say, other than to say that that sucks. Because that seriously does suck. This could be the problem with UAVs under testing. We haven't got anyone on board to de-discombooberate the system if something goes wrong.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 10:19 PM
link   
This line "which caused the aircrafts automatic fail-safe flight termination mode to activate is cited by Lockheed Martin as the cause of the crash." It almost sounds like the plane has a fail safe that either brings it in for a controlled crash or self destruct etc. Times like this where I wish Intelgurl or Bios would chime in I'll have to try to U2U them etc. Come to think of it Intelgurl left in Dec and that may have been around the crash time? Is she connected to Lockheed in anyway? ahh too many questions
have to see if I can contact Bios.

Update: Emailed Bios and waiting for reply.


[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 04:06 AM
link   
wierd...

What was the point? Why type lines and lines of code, to instruct the aircraft to crash??? If you loose contact/control of the UAV...I'm pretty sure it will manage to crash all on its own...it doesn't need instructions for that.


But either way you look at it, thats bad news for lockheed. Who built this craft with money outta their own pocket, because they wanted to show Washington that they are on par with Boeing & Northrop as far as UAV's (mainly BWB's) are concerned.



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 07:20 PM
link   
Yes it does, in the event of a failure the UAV needs to be able to crash somewhere it won't cause damage on the ground. It's a safety measure.



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 10:07 PM
link   
What sort of senors on board does a UAV have to make a desion like that and how would it go about it. I remeber engine failure training and the practise I still do and man it sounds easy but sure as "heck" isn't. Not saying it isn't possible just very ummm professional to train a plane to control crash, how would you let the plane deside?



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 11:02 PM
link   
Having also gone through engine failure training, I concur completely that an engine failure is very much different than any other failures. Even when idling the engine provides a lot of power and a lot of pilots take the idling for granted- until they notice the difference when it ain't there. Now, I did my training first in a Cessna 172 and then in a double-prop of which I cannot remember the name. These two have pretty darn good glide rates, and the engine pales when put next to a jet. To have the engines on a fighter aircraft (Less related to aircraft and more related to rockets with really big fins on the sides
) conk out on you is probably a lot worse; Those aircraft rely a whole lot on the engines to stay up, astronomically more than any smaller aircraft. Now, because the BWB of the Polecat is very lifting, I don't think it's quite that problematic, but since one way or another the failure leads to the aircraft meeting the ground in some way, it still does present us with a bit of a poser. Just out of curiosity (I haven't read the whole article, haven't had a whole lot of time, so it may be a really stupid question. Sorry if it is.), has there been any specific cause as to what precisely forced the craft to crash (other than it was programmed to do so)?



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 12:14 AM
link   
The truly sucky thing about this is that it may push Lockheed and the others to put their projects back in the "dark". Lockheed took a risk by making polecat public. Now with the loss of that aircraft it's an embarrassment. At the very least it brings the technology under public scrutiny which is a real bad thing if you're trying to sell it.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 01:28 AM
link   

Originally posted by looking4truth
The truly sucky thing about this is that it may push Lockheed and the others to put their projects back in the "dark". Lockheed took a risk by making polecat public. Now with the loss of that aircraft it's an embarrassment. At the very least it brings the technology under public scrutiny which is a real bad thing if you're trying to sell it.

well, yes and no.

I see what your saying, But Lockheed designed this craft from the get go, to not be some stealthy spy plane over Iran, But a tech demonstrator, basically showing the AF that they can make a stealthy BWB, and make it cost efficient.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 09:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by Darkpr0
Just out of curiosity (I haven't read the whole article, haven't had a whole lot of time, so it may be a really stupid question. Sorry if it is.), has there been any specific cause as to what precisely forced the craft to crash (other than it was programmed to do so)?


Awww come on Darkpro I provided it for you for that reason lol
Anyways no problem I'll be glad to sumerizes. It sounds like the problem actually was on the ground control station and their was a un reversable failure in the control system and due to that the Polecat has somesort of failsafe programe that took over and from what I understand terminated its flight. Muricelago brought up the idea of a code for the plane to follow in this situation.

I agree with you exerinces in engine failure training and also the fact that the polecat is a BWB (blended wing body) should create better the normal glide charactertics. I guess the problem as I brough up before is the plane handling itself when all the thrust is gone therefore changing the handling of the UAV. Hope that helps some Darkpro



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 09:47 AM
link   
Well I got the email and Natalie was able to answer it herself as it seems she was on some sort of break from the testing range. Its good with more answers then I could of hoped. Enjoy guys and gals


The Polecat did not represent any great technological strides other than the composites used in the manufacture of the Polecats airframe - it in no way represented a a step beyond the JUCAS/NUCAS efforts of Northrop & Boeing, particularly in software control systems and redundant backups.

I'm really not surprised about the loss as Lockheed actually has a record with such failings (Darkstar comes to mind - although they finally got a larger model in clandestine service during the opening of the Iraq war).

In my opinion Lockheed felt market & shareholder pressure to position themselves as a UAV systems provider, they rushed things and quite frankly reaped what they sowed - (you may recall when the Polecat was first publicized Lockheed's Dir of UAS's, Frank Mauro expounded on their ability to put the thing up in 18 months).
Let's face it, 18 months is waaay too quick to have a reliable system flying when the software required is so system and airframe geometry specific - you just can't plug a rehashed old Darkstar module in, write a patch and expect the thing to work flawlessly.

Let me get political for a moment;
Now that Rumsfeld is out of the picture I think we will see Northrop and Boeing having a greater influence and a greater, well deserved opportunity to grab some Pentagon aerospace contracts. My lord, Lockheed can't even supress contrails, Northrop's been doing it for over 15 years (ie: B-2 bomber)
(Lockheed's Polecat UCAV Demonstrator Crashes)
Aviation Week & Space Technology - Subscription service version
03/19/2007, page 44
(this article also discusses Lockheed's inability to supress contrails and their thwarted desire to use the polecat to experiment with contrail supression technology)

Natalie~


And there it is hopefully this enough for you guys but I know I have some more to chew on in order to fully wrap my thoughts around the failure and systems in place for it. Many thanks to Intelgurl again and we look forward to her return in the later months and wish her the best in her current endevors.


[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 11:46 AM
link   
Weird! Does anyone else find it odd that it was the Flight control system's Fail-Safe that caused the crash?


Not to rag on Lockheed, but this sound erriely simular to the computer malfunction that caused the loss of a Darkstar UAV a few years back now. The drone took off from Edwards AFB and amalfunction in the failsafe caused the Darkstar to pich up sharply and yaw on take off.

Tim



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 12:37 PM
link   
During Flight test you have Range Safety standing by with a little system that can terminate the flight due to various safety reasons. The system is tested and verified while the aircraft is on the ground. Sounds like the signal was inadvertently given, although I could be wrong. But very similar to what happened to a Global Hawk a couple years back.

Range Safty FTS



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 02:36 PM
link   
Flight global just posted about the articale and here is the link: www.flightglobal.com...

Interesting bits of info not in the other posts. The 2nd link confirms shadowhawks statement about first flight and the 3rd confirms satcoms post that it was an un-intended activation of the system.

“designed to irreversibly terminate flight” so that the UAV did not leave the range.



The Skunk Works-built private-venture high-altitude UAV demonstrator, first flown in secret in 2005 and unveiled at last year’s Farnborough air show, had only recently returned to flight.



after the unintentional activation of its flight termination system.


The last point just a thought any possiblity of sabatoge from another company? they did say its under investigation still and i'm not trying to point fingers but until they open up about it its fair game i guess.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 06:34 PM
link   
Please note that the primary cause of the DarkStar AV1 crash was not software.

See page two of this link for more info (Rand Report)
rand.org...

Enjoy!
D**2



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 05:42 AM
link   
Ok, I take it back! The Report sais there was a flaw in airframe design that caused Darkstar to crash. The Popular Science artical I have at home must have gotten it wrong. Thanks for the correction.

Tim



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 07:44 AM
link   

Originally posted by Murcielago
Why type lines and lines of code, to instruct the aircraft to crash???


The idea strikes me that if you have a state-of-the art long-range surveillance craft such as the Polecat, and that for whatever reason crashes in enemy territory, you'd want to make sure that all the onboard electronic hardware (sensor arrays, microprocessors etc) were disabled beyond use to the enemy.

Wouldn't there be some kind of redundant command written into the software that would fry the circuitboards and components to render them useless?



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 09:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by citizen smith

Originally posted by Murcielago
Why type lines and lines of code, to instruct the aircraft to crash???


The idea strikes me that if you have a state-of-the art long-range surveillance craft such as the Polecat, and that for whatever reason crashes in enemy territory, you'd want to make sure that all the onboard electronic hardware (sensor arrays, microprocessors etc) were disabled beyond use to the enemy.


I would agree except for the fact that the polecat was never designed to fly in enemy airspace as it was only a test vehicle that only made probably around 5 flights before crashing. I agree that it would have some sort of code writing to bring down the aircraft but you would think they would want in in one piece still.

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 11:35 AM
link   
Well more focus is being give to the teething issues of UAV's this week I wonder why
. Any ways I found an artical from flight global about some high profile UAV crashes but one line stuck out to me.


Bell Helicopter’s TR918 Eagle Eye tiltrotor VTOL UAV demonstrator crashed in April 2006 after a spurious external signal – the source of which has never been unidentified – caused the engine to shutdown while the vehicle was in a hover.


Hmm I mentioned the possiblity of sabatoge before in an early post but this is interesting and considering that the crash is still under investigation till then most possiblities remain possible right?

link to articale :www.flightglobal.com...



posted on Mar, 23 2007 @ 01:50 PM
link   

Hmm I mentioned the possiblity of sabatoge before in an early post but this is interesting and considering that the crash is still under investigation till then most possiblities remain possible right?

link to articale :www.flightglobal.com...

Sure, sabotage is possible, but unlikely if you ask me. UAV's are relatively new and experimental. The Polecat was experimental and it's software probably was too. As the Flight article mentions, Europe's largest UAS, the Barracuda, also crashed recently. These accidents simply happen, unfortunately.

The Polecat only did three flight tests, according to this Aviation Week article.



new topics

top topics



 
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join